Men's hockey wins home opener
Maybe the new uniforms and new pre-game Chicago Bullesque opening are a sign of new records for the 1996-97 hockey season. Shutouts are a rarity in college hockey, but for Big Green goaltenders, they have been especially elusive.
This was not the case Friday night when Dartmouth goalie Scott Baker '97 blanked Army with his 26 save performance at Thompson Arena Friday night for the first shutout by Dartmouth since Feb. 17, 1990.
The Big Green combined Baker's shining performance in goal with a three goal second period to open the season on a positive note downing Army 3-0.
The first period saw the Big Green come out firing, as they outshot the Cadets 18-10. There were some expected early mental mistakes, as the two sides felt each other out -- having not faced each other in five years.
It was only the stellar play of Army goalie Daryl Chamberlain that kept Dartmouth from finding the back of the net. The best chance for the Big Green came midway through the first period on a power-play when Owen Hughes '97 fed Curtis Wilgosh '99 coming from behind the net, but Wilgosh waited a bit too long and Chamberlain was able to step over and make the save.
The Big Green appeared to be in mid-season form by the second period, however, as they exploded to a 3-0 lead. Army began to wear down, and Dartmouth used its obvious speed advantage to spread the ice and create good scoring opportunities.
On a two-man advantage at 7:07 into the period, Hughes was again busy creating on the offensive end of the ice, as he fired a centering pass to Alex Dumas '97, who managed to onetime the puck home from the slot even though it was on edge. It wasn't the typical Dumas blast, but the shot was accurate enough to go five hole and give the Big Green a 1-0 lead.
That power-play proved to be the only one Dartmouth could capitalize on all night, as the Big Green's next two goals of the period came at even strength.
Dartmouth struck next 12:41 into the period after a good combination of passes in Army's zone. Shaun Peet '98 sent a roaring slapper to the front of the net where Wilgosh got another quality chance to light the lamp. Wilgosh didn't get the puck in the net, but his shot pulled Chamberlain out of position, and David Whitworth '98 cleaned up the mess by flicking the puck over the Army goaltender for the 2-0 lead.
It was the explosive white line's turn next, as Bobby Cancelli got the action started in neutral ice by feeding the puck at the left wing to Captain Brent Retter '97, who took it over the blue line and crossed it to his younger brother Charlie Retter '98, who in turn handled it and then sent it five-hole with 1:52 remaining in the period.
The game started getting ugly again in the third period as Army's frustrations came to the surface. There were numerous stoppages of play resulting in the inability of either team to get in any type of rhythm, and the Big Green rode their three-goal lead all the way for the victory.
Army was overmatched in every aspect with the exception of Chamberlain's play, who finished with 44 saves.
"One of the team's major goal for the year has been to play physical and punish teams when they come into our barn," defenseman David Risk '99 said. "We out-hit them tonight and it showed, and it was obvious in the third period that their pride had been taken away and they were anxious to get back on the bus."